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Same Sex Marriage Verdict: No fundamental right of same-sex couples to marry: Supreme Court

Today (October 17), a Supreme Court panel of five judges, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, unanimously decided against legalizing same-sex unions in India. Additionally, the bench voted 3:2 in favor of opposing civil unions for non-heterosexual couples. Justices PS Narasimha, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Ravindra Bhat, and Hima Kohli made up the panel.

According to him, the CJI left the matter up to the Parliament to decide. Justice Kaul and the Chief Justice of India advocated for civil unions for heterosexual couples. The Special Marriage Act’s (SMA) provisions cannot be invalidated by the SC, according to the CJI. The gender-neutral application of the SMA is the main topic of the petitions submitted. It is a secular law created to encourage intercaste and interreligious unions. The petitioners want the Special Marriage Act to be interpreted broadly to cover same-sex unions as well.

A step toward marital equality, according to Justice Kaul, is the legal recognition of civil unions for non-heterosexual couples. However, all five judges concurred that there is no basic right to marriage, and the court rejected same-sex unions by a majority decision. The majority of people believe that Parliament or the legislature should make the decision to legalize same-sex unions.

Over the course of 10 days in April and May, the supreme court heard the arguments. Arguments were made on everything from the right to privacy to the right to equality, the rights and privileges conferred by marriage, and the effects of same-sex unions on offspring. Those opposing the petitioners included the Central government, the national child rights body NCPCR, and the Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind, a body of Islamic scholars.

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